We enter into adult relationships looking for the love we had, or wish we had in childhood. This is an impossible goal. The right goal, is to love others that way. None of us will achieve this fully in our lifetime, but we can strive to get better at it.

Love yourself first. We project onto others whatever we feel about ourselves. If we grant ourselves love and acceptance, we open the door to treating others the same way.

Celebrate the qualities of others. Notice the virtues in others like honesty, kindness, authenticity, and humor. Reflect on the qualities of others that you admire most and tell them!

Get to know others more intimately. Imagine a man who has committed the most evil deeds. Now imagine his childhood. Perhaps someone abused him or showed him that he didn’t matter. Imagine a boy crying softly in a corner, night after night, his tears never heeded except with an impatient shove. The heart softens even if it doesn’t excuse.

Try not to judge others. Non-judgement is one aspect of the heart of our spiritual tradition. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t notice other people’s bad behavior (or your own). But there’s a huge difference between observing and condemning. Judging is an act of distancing yourself from others—and from yourself. Observing can be done impartially, even lovingly.

John 13:34 “I give you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, so you also must love each other.”